Uchisar Castle: The Highest Natural Structure in Cappadocia
One of the physical and touristic highlights of Cappadocia is Uchisar Castle, the most beautiful structure that stands out during balloon tours. Since the castle is located at a high altitude, it was also strategically used as an important defense and trade center for many rulers.
Located 8 km from the center of Nevsehir, the castle is the viewing area of wonderful valleys and landscapes, including tourist attractions such as Ortahisar Castle, Güvercinlik Valley, Göreme Open Air Museum, Avanos.
Since it is the highest structure in the geography of Cappadocia, everywhere you look ends with the sky. As we look at the earth, we think of the people who lived here thousands of years ago and the active volcanoes that captured these places millions of years ago. Uchisar Castle is the only place where Mount Hasan and Mount Erciyes can be seen together.
Cappadocia Uchisar Castle history
The castle is just one of thousands of fairy chimneys in Cappadocia. However, its height made it the first natural skyscraper in the world. Over 100 meters high, this natural formation was used as a defense castle during the Hittite period in 3000 BC.
If you look at the castle from the right angle, you can realize that it is a combination of two different fairy chimneys. The bigger one is popularly called Agha’s Castle and the other one is called Çavuş Castle.
In the 12th and 14th centuries, this castle was also used as the border region of principalities. For example, the Seljuks had this castle as their eastern border.
It was determined as the western border of Kadı Burhanettin Principality and the eastern border of Karamanoğulları. It is thought that both the name and the word Uçhisar come from here. The 3 most important protection points of the period, Başhisar (Ürgüp), Ortahisar and Uçhisar, which we visited, were the protection points of the region.
All of the rooms in Uchisar Castle, which is the highest point of the Cappadocia region, are rooms carved out. Thanks to its easily excavated stone structure, it is possible to see many barns, shelters, warehouses, cellars, cellars, wine production areas as well as nearly 500 living spaces.
Moreover, each of these rooms is connected to each other by corridors, stairs or tunnels to ensure that communication between them is not broken. The rooms in the castle can be easily visited thanks to the lighting systems.
Of course, it is also possible to climb to the top of the castle and I highly recommend it. Each floor you climb up the stairs shows you a different side of Cappadocia. Many travelers will accompany you on your visits towards sunset, because setting the sun in Uchisar Castle is a matter of admiration for many people.
First of all, since we couldn’t find the way up to the castle, we entered among the houses on the slopes of the castle. You should definitely walk among these houses and smell the city. The people of Uchisar, who live mostly on the slopes of the castle, live in stone houses with a maximum of two floors.
There are some things you should know before going to Uchisar Castle.
- On your way to the castle, you pass through narrow stone buildings surrounded by souvenir shops. You can find souvenirs here cheaper than in other parts of Cappadocia.
- Since the exit of the castle is carved out of the natural rock, you should prefer sneakers rather than slippers. Although there are stairs on some of the ascents, sneakers will make you feel safer.
- It is not a difficult climb, you can easily overcome it if you are traveling with children.
- The castle is beautifully illuminated at night. If you leave the castle after sunset, don’t forget to look behind you. You will see a different atmosphere with yellow and blue colors.
Uchisar Castle entrance fee
Cappadocia Uchisar Castle entrance is paid. However, the prices are far below the prices of many Cappadocia museums. It is open every day of the week.
Where is Uchisar Castle?
The castle is located in Uchisar town, about 5 kilometers from Goreme. If you have your own car, you can easily reach this castle on the Ürgüp – Göreme road.
You can park your car on the wide land at the end of the narrow cobblestone streets. For this, when you turn from the main road to the street where the shops are, they charge you a parking fee. But you are likely to have a shortage of space when it is crowded.
If you do not have a car, it is possible to reach Uchisar from Nevsehir. You can use the buses that depart every half hour during the day.